RACINE, Wis., Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President – Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability for SC Johnson, testified today on behalf of the company before the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health of the Committee on Environment and Public Works on the need to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
"There is a clear consumer and business case for modernizing TSCA, a statute that has not been modified in more than a generation," said Semrau. "Chemically-formulated products can be found under nearly every kitchen sink in America, and the chemical management of these products has evolved beyond current regulation."
SC Johnson, a fifth generation family company, is committed to doing what's right for consumers and families that purchase its brands and products like Glade®, Windex® and Ziploc®. The company believes the next step is strong support for modern regulation of chemicals to help consumers have even more confidence in the products they use everyday.
A Call for Change
In Semrau's testimony, she acknowledged that changes to TSCA must be driven by sound science, be risk-based, include realistic timelines for action – for both industry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – and seek to achieve objectives in the least burdensome and most economically responsible manner possible.
Specifically, Semrau focused on four key areas of critical importance:
- Balancing Transparency: Transparency is imperative, but it has to balance the desire to inform and empower consumers with the need to protect legitimate confidential business information.
- Providing Adequate Use, Exposure, and Toxicity Information: Understanding and addressing data gaps and ensuring the EPA has timely, adequate information on chemical hazards, exposures and uses is a critical part of modernization. It means that companies like SC Johnson would agree to a new reporting responsibility, but Semrau stated this was necessary to properly inform the chemical safety evaluation process.
- Promoting Greener Chemistries: SC Johnson regularly invests in green chemistry, whether through its Greenlist™ process or the partnership with the EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) program. Green chemistry is an avenue for motivating the selection of better, safer raw materials and TSCA modernization should promote the transition to more sustainable alternatives.
- Ensuring Adequate Time to Respond to New Requirements: TSCA modernization needs to move ahead, but it is important to ensure that the chemical industry has sufficient time to transform itself and implement the technological and scientific tools needed to modernize TSCA.
"We believe it simply makes good business sense to bring TSCA into the 21st century, while still protecting and enhancing the spirit of innovation that lies at the heart of SC Johnson, the consumer products industry, and the U.S. economy," Semrau concluded.
SC Johnson, A History of Doing What's Right
Working to safeguard the environment and protect human health has been a big part of the privately-held company's 125-year-old history, examples include:
- 1955 – SC Johnson switched to water-based aerosols from petroleum-based aerosols
- 1975 – SC Johnson was the first company to remove CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) from all aerosol products, doing so voluntarily and unilaterally, three years before the federal mandate
- 2001 – The company launched Greenlist™, a patented, award-winning process that enables SC Johnson to use an environmental classification system to help green its chemistry
- 2009 – SC Johnson announced a broad ingredient communication program that was a logical extension of Greenlist™, designed to bring more transparency to its products by sharing product ingredients with consumers through a dedicated website, product labels and a toll-free number.
SC Johnson has pledged to work with Subcommittee Chairman Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), a vocal supporter of modernizing U.S. chemical management practices, and other Subcommittee members to develop responsible and workable improvements to TSCA that will garner broad public and industry support, and make the U.S. a global leader in chemical management policy.
To view Semrau's testimony click here.
About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family-owned and managed business dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, and insect control. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, and MR. MUSCLE®. The 125-year-old company, with more than $8 billion in sales, employs approximately 12,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com
SOURCE SC Johnson